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tv   Newsline  NHK World  August 30, 2014 12:00am-12:31am JST

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here is a look at some of the stories we are following this hour. indian prime minister narendra modi is heading for japan in hopes to build stronger ties to benefit the asian region. north korea has reversed its decision to send cheerleaders to next month's asian games in the south which had originally been seen as a gesture of friendship. as the ice bucket challenge races awareness about a.l.s., a
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japanese sufferer of the disease hopes the campaign will actually help in the fight for a cure. indian prime minister narendra modi begins a visit to japan on saturday. he spoke to japanese reporters before he set off. he stressed that stronger relationships with japan will benefit all asian countries. patchari raksawong in bangkok is following the story. prime minister modi wants to focus on security ties during his visit to japan. modi led his party to a landslide victory in the may parliamentary election. it was the first change of power in a decade. a meeting between modi and shinzo abe is scheduled for monday. abe also plans to host a private dinner for modi in kyoto before the summit. modi is keen to revitalize the indian economy after its worst growth in a decade.
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modi views japan as a key business partner for his country. he expressed willingness to improve india's business environment by easing regulations to encourage japan to invest more. india is increasingly concerned about china exerting greater influence in the asia-pacific region. india held a joint naval exercise with japan and the u.s. in late july. and security is likely to be high on the agenda when modi meets abe.
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>> modi said he is hoping to obtain concrete cooperation for a nuclear energy pact that will allow india to use japanese technology and modi also wants to discuss a planned high speed train network for india. medical specialists gathered in bangkok on friday to discuss ways to regulate surrogate births. thailand does not have any laws on commercial surrogacy. the thai authorities are working on a draft bill that would ban commercial surrogacy and brokerage services. the chairperson of the thai medical council expressed caution about putting the law into effect. he said doctors may respond excessively if regulations are tightened. this could make it difficult to provide the necessary medical services to those in need. a surrogacy case in the southeast asian nation was in the international spotlight this month. an australian couple arranged
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the birth of surrogate twins. they were later accused of abandoning the twin with downs syndrome. in another case earlier this month, thai police took more than ten babies and toddlers into protective custody in bangkok. a japanese man had reportedly fathered the children through surrogate mothers. >> translator: i feel very sorry about these cases. it's better to have some regulations instead of doing nothing. >> on friday, australian officials held talks with thais seeking help with surrogacy cases that involve australian parents. australian couples with babies born to thai surrogate mothers have not been allowed to leave thailand for several weeks. >> our main focus is how we handle cases that are between now and when the new law comes into place.
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>> we could find out the way we can do together, i mean, in any procedure, and any cooperation based on two principles that the prime minister is concerned. it's about humanitarian and also the best interests of the child. >> the thai medical council basically bans commercial surrogacy. it only allows relatives of couples to act as surrogate mothers. more hospitals in thailand are handling surrogate births because the ban is only an in-house rule for doctors. the surrogacy industry is expanding in thailand with brokerage services backing the trend. shipwrecks of vessels sunk during world war ii dot the oceans of the asia pacific region. they are more than just monuments. they are the final resting point of the fallen crews. it was believed until the discovery that parts from one japanese naval vessel have been plundered from waters in malaysia.
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nhk keiji himeno reports. >> reporter: the cruiser haguru of the long defunct japanese navy sunk during a fierce battle off the coast of malaysia. more than 750 crew went down with the ship. keiko masuzaki lives in southwest japan. her older brother, miyaku, was on board the haguro when it sank. >> translator: to me, he's my brother. the sunken ship contains his remains, so his real grave is there. off penang. >> reporter: penang is an island in northwest malaysia. the wreck lies offshore more than 60 meters under water. this footage was taken by an
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australian diver in 2010. the area is the final resting place of more than 10 vessels sank during the war. but last may, malaysian maritime authorities detained the captain and crew of a salvage ship for raising ships without permission. iron stripped from the vessels was found onboard the salvage ship. when nhk was on the ship, a personabled to be from it's operating company approached us. >> translator: this is our ship. don't film it. i can't talk to you. leave right now.
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>> reporter: we repeatedly asked him whether the metal came from salvaged japanese war ships but he didn't answer. local fishermen told us they often witnessed the salvage vessel pulling up japanese ship wrecks. >> translator: fishermen operating around here talk of wrecked japanese war ships, scrap iron sells well. so the salvage firm might be trying to do that. >> reporter: the salvage company was found to have recovered nearly 100 tons of iron each time it hoisted a shipwreck. scrap iron is in high demand in this booming economy. it is suspected that they made tens of thousands of dollars in profit from its salvage
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operators. masazuki believed her brother was resting peacefully in the sunken ship. after seeing footage of iron lifted from the shipwrecks, she had this to say. >> translator: if not all the ship has been lifted, i hope the rest will remain untouched under water. i can't go to penang. all i can do is pray from here. >> reporter: 59 years have passed since the war, but this remains for the ship wrecks that double as graves for the fallen. nhk world, malaysia. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok.
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the president of ukraine says russian troops are inside his country's borders fighting alongside separatists. the nato military alliance is backing up his claim with satellite photos. western leaders say despite denials, there is no doubt the russians are deeply involved in this conflict. nhk world chiaki ishikawa has more. >> reporter: the president of ukraine called an emergency meeting of his security council. petro poroshenko says russian service men have invaded donetsk with weapons to rescue what they described as gangs of terrorists. security council members released video of what they call a russian tank. they say a joint brigade of russian troops and pro-russian
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separatists have taken control of the area. nato officials say recent satellite images show more than 1,000 russian soldiers are indeed on ukrainian soil. one photo shows more than ten military vehicles and another artillery units in firing position. >> they are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the overall scope of russian troop and weapons movements. >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama left no question as to who he blames for the unrest. >> the violence is encouraged by russia. the separatists are trained by russia. they are armed by russia. they are funded by russia. >> and at the u.n. security council, more accusations against russia. >> it is manipulated. it has obfuscated. it has outright lied. >> reporter: the russian ambassador says any russians in eastern ukraine are volunteers, a claim supported by the
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separatists. he accused ukrainian leaders of directing a war against their own people. but the ukrainians have been asking the u.s. and the european union to ramp up diplomatic pressure on russia. the russians are accused of deepening their involvement in this conflict just as the separatists are facing the possibility of defeat. german chancellor angela merkel says e.u. leaders will discuss further economic sanctions against russia at a summit this weekend. nato ambassadors are holding an emergency meeting on friday and nato leaders will address the crisis next week at the summit. president obama though has ruled out military action. and so it will be up to the ukrainian forces to continue to deal with an increasingly complicated uprising. president poroshenko calls the
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situation unusually difficult. the government is reintroducing compulsory military service to increase its fighting power. nhk world. north korean officials have changed their minds about sending cheerleaders to south korea. the squad was supposed to perform at the upcoming asian games and their presence was meant to be an opportunity to improve relations on the peninsula. state-run korean central television reported the turnaround. pyongyang initially said a record 700 people would travel to incheon for the games. that included athletes, officials and cheerleaders. the tv station said seoul raised issues about the size of the squad last month during talks. the report said pyongyang will send athletes and officials as scheduled.
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pyongyang is criticizing a joint u.s./south korea military exercise which began last week. officials say it will threaten peace and security on the korean peninsula. officials at south korea's unification ministry told nhk the government and the games organizing committee will continue with preparations for hosting the squad. workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant are busy checking the safety of one of the damaged reactor buildings. they had earlier tried to remove wreckage from the site but dropped it into a pool holding more than 500 nuclear fuel rods. officials with tokyo electric power company say the incident took place shortly after noon on friday at the number 3 reactor building. the workers were using a remotely operated crane to lift
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a control consul when it slipped. the device weighs 400 kilograms. the officials say they have detected no change in radiation levels near the pool or at the plant's monitoring post. they also say no one was injured. the number 3 reactor building was badly damaged by the hydrogen explosion that destroyed the plant in 2011. it's fuel pool is still littered with wreckage. the japan coast guard plans to boost patrols in territoria waters in the east china sea to deal with a rise in illegal fishing. officials will send out additional boats near the senkaku islands. the japan coast guard plans to deploy four small patrol boats within three years. it will also add another small jet to its current fleet within five years to enable round-the-clock patrols. officials say illegal fishing is
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increasing. they say the coast guard ordered 169 vessels to leave territorial waters from april 1st to august 26th. they say most of the boats were chinese. they say chinese government vessels also have repeatedly intruded into territorial waters near the island since japan nationalized some of them in 2012. japan controls the senkakus, china and taiwan claim them. more bad news for people at japan's most prestigious research institute, riken. first, papers written by riken scientists were debunked by the scientific community and retracted. now, the science ministry has decided to cut its budget request by nearly 20%. ministry officials say they had sought more than $500 million for riken for the next fiscal year. the first time a budget request for the institute has been slashed. they say they sought minimum funding for new studies so that the staff at riken can focus on preventing a recurrence of
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misconduct. it is planning to streamline its center for development biology to around half its size in response to the stap cell controversy. the retracted papers claim to offer a quick and easy way of making stem cells that would be capable of developing into any type of tissue. by now many have seen images like these online or on tv. millions dumping ice water on their head. just about everybody is taking the ice bucket challenge, from movie stars to former presidents. it is a campaign to raise awareness about a.l.s. or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to get support for those suffering from the disease. people who are challenged are encouraged to douse themselves
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in ice water or donate. they have sparked criticism that the rules amount to coercion. few argue with the results. people around the world are talking about a.l.s. and its deadly impact. one sufferer in japan says that's a good thing. nhk world misako oshie reports. >> reporter: residents of well-known companies and tv personalities in japan got together last week for a now familiar ritual. >> translator: it's very important that more people donate to help a.l.s. patients and fund therapeutic research. >> reporter: they took part in the ice bucket challenge, a charity event that's gone global. hero fugita organized this gathering that raised about $40,000 in donations. the 34-year-old has a.l.s. he is the founder of the nonprofit organization and
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a.l.s. he had been building a successful career as a planning director at an advertising agency when doctors diagnosed him four years ago. a.l.s. is a neurological disease. it causes motor neurons to die and muscles to degenerate over time. an american institute estimates about 450,000 people worldwide suffer from it. there is no cure. fujita started using a wheelchair soon after his diagnosis. he had to get a tracheostomy last year and lost his voice. still, he goes to the office once a week and this equipment helps him communicate. it translates his eye movements into written or audio messages. he says the system has helped him keep working and stay socially connected.
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>> translator: it helped being a planner because we have to come up with solutions. but more than that, it helped that i work with this company in advertising surrounded by people who care. >> reporter: fujita has been giving lectures and organizing events to inform the public about the challenges a.l.s. patients face. pharmaceutical companies don't often invest in drugs to treat diseases that affect a minority of people. end a.l.s. has been making donations to one organization studying ways to combat the illness. fujita and his team also submitted recommendations to the japanese welfare minister
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calling for the government's support. not everyone believes the ice bucket challenge is the best way to tackle a.l.s. but fujita says he will do whatever it takes to inform people. his lip reader conveyed his message. >> a.l.s. is killing us slowly. this is torture. please help free us. thank you. >> fujita's condition worsens every day but he says he will continue his fight to end a.l.s. for as long as he is able. misaka oshie, nhk world, tokyo. a panel set up by the communications ministry in japan
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says it will spend six months compiling a set of proposals of nhk's international broadcasting. >> reporter: the most important purpose of the meeting is to discuss how to enhance nhk's international broadcasting of information. >> shindo asked 11 experts on what type of information he should convey to the world and what they want to know from japan. they agreed to discuss nhk's international broadcasting operation and the financial resources for it. they will also explore ways to promote nhk programs overseas. the icelandic volcano has briefly spewed lava up to the surface. authorities have elevated the level of the aviation alert. our meteorologist, sayaka mori, has the details. sakaya?
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a small eruption eruption has occurred in southeastern iceland near bardabunga. let's go straight to some video from the area. the volcano has started to erupt just after early friday morning. the eruption prompted officials to issue a red aviation alert for the area due to explosive activity that has been detected. those familiar with the situation say they are monitoring what is considered a calm eruption where they maximize flowing from the ground. this comes after a couple of days of earthquakes because of the instability in the area. on top of the risk of more eruptions, iceland is facing wet and windy conditions, because hurricane is approaching. this is cristobal right now located west of -- east of the northeastern u.s. and eastern canada. it is still bringing dangerous surf conditions for the coastal locations. it could weaken to a low pressure system today. it will likely move up to the northeast aiming for iceland.
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this is the weather map expected for sunday. the low pressure system will likely produce lots of rainfall, stronger gusts, and high surf, for much of the island. additional 80 millimeters of rain is likely to fall. that is enough to cause flooding. there is a lot going on over iceland. across the americas, we are seeing some intensive rainmaker over the mid-part of the u.s. this is a very slow-moving system. it has spawned at least five tornadoes, strong gusts, large hail in many places from the southern plains to the midwest. this will continue to move toward the east at a snail's pace while interrupting rainfall and strong winds. ahead of the storm, warm areas from the gulf of mexico. your highs are quite high, atlanta, 33. houston, up 33 degrees as well. things will stay warm and humid over the eastern areas of the u.s. different story over los angeles.
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sunny weather will continue into monday. that is your labor day. so, enjoy your holiday under beautiful weather. now, across japan as opposed to los angeles, things are quite wet and cool for most of the country. we have a low pressure system to the southern areas. that's dragging cooler air from the north and sending moisture from the south. heavy rain is falling along the pacific coast. kagashima uses 15 millimeters of rain in one hour, staying quite wet for the next several days. the northern areas, there is a threat of thunderstorms. now, across china, lots of rain is pounding the southern areas. more heavy rain is pounding the northern areas of the indochina peninsula. upwards of 200 millimeters of rain is likely. temperatures in bangkok, up 32 degrees with thundershowers. up 31 degrees and the northern areas, quite hot. partly sunny skies on your
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saturday. tokyo, once again, quite chilly for this time of year. only 25 for the high. that's it for me now. have a nice weekend.
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hello kitty is a world famous made in japan cartoon character that has become an icon. "the los angeles times" recently carried an article with the title, "hello kitty" is not a cat, eliciting surprise from media across the europe and the united states. the u.s. newspaper broke the news on tuesday in an article about a forthcoming exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the character's creation. the article quoted an anthropologist from the university of hawaii as saying, hello kitty is not a cat but a little girl that walks and sits like a two-legged creature. it adds that the girl has a pet of her own. the bbc was part of a big media response. it reported that the character is a british school kid called kitty white who lived just outside london. the company that created it, san rio says hello kitty was modeled after a cat but she is completely personified as a girl. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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yamagata prefecture is japan's largest cherry-growing region. deformed fruits are causing a headache among farmers. in another area, they found oranges with loose skin. >> the skin is very loose. >> reporter: global warming is the likely cause. climate change is threatening agricultural production across japan.
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